Thursday, April 16, 2015

Breslov is Not (Just) a Hasidic Sect - Why Everyone Needs Rebbe Nahman

Breslov is usually thought of as a sect of Hasidic Judaism. That, it might be. However, it is much more than that.

The only reason we have various terms describing groups within Judaism is because of the overall evolution of the Jewish people in exile. Even before this past exile, during Bayith Sheni, there were sects among Jews because of our fractured nature even after just 70 years of Babylonian exile. That sectarianism is part of the reason we were eventually exiled for another two thousand years.

I don't like to break things up into labels. It should be simple. There are Jews working towards our redemption, working towards bringing our long awaited Messiah, working towards doing HaShem's will simply and earnestly. Jews not doing this are problematic to us all, and they are those of the second category.

To divide it up into Haredi, Dati Leumi, Masorti, Hiloni, etc, is not always accurate. You will find even Haredim who may learn Torah all day long, yet they are not in touch with HaShem's direction for the time. This is mostly because of Rabbis who are not in tune with the source of wisdom, the true Sadiq who is the aspect of Moshe Rabenu. This may be even if they claim they are, i.e. that they go by the title "Breslov".

Going back a couple hundred years ago, Hasidut came about out of the teachings of one 'Moshe', the Ba`al Shem Tov, who restored to Judaism what had been lost. Rabbi Shim`on Bar Yohai, the Ari, and others were also true Sadiqim who did this. In exile, we were not simply left alone; otherwise we would have never made it.

Rabenu Nahman arrived at a time where Jews were divided into various groups, sects, and around the time when huge waves of atheism, secular science, and assimilation were about to afflict Jews, especially in Europe. Even in secluded, pure, and ancient Jewish communities like in Yemen, this manifested on a lesser level as the Darda`im. For this reason, Rabenu Nahman stressed emuna - straight, simple, and intense faith in HaShem.

He also knew that the holiness of the brith, upon which all of the Torah is based (as also states the Zohar), would come to an all-time low in these final generations. There has been no other time in history when unlimited forbidden images could be accessed by almost anyone at pretty much any time, HaShem have mercy. Sexual impurity is even forced on people these days, even walking down the streets of Jerusalem. The holiness and purity of sexuality has almost completely gone away. This is why Rabenu Nahman stressed tiqun habrith so vehemently. This is why he made it possible to correct the almost impossibly correctable sin of wasting seed, dwelling on impure thoughts, pegam habrith, by discovering and revealing the ten Tehillim which have an immense impact in repairing sexual sin.

If it isn't clear to you yet, you might have a problem. You need Rebbe Nahman: to heed his advice, to draw near to him, to become attached to him, to make it through the rough and to come out clean when your eternal soul leaves the temporary body laying there in the grave. For those who say this is something foreign the Judaism, it is right there in the Torah, "they believed in HaShem and in Moshe, His servant." It is not a foreign concept, and it is certainly different than the concept that, lehavdil, lehavdil, xtianity ripped off and perverted, God forbid.

Torah 70 of Liqutei Moharan explains that a true Sadiq as humble as Moshe Rabenu is only able to build the Mishkan because he is the idea of the Mishkan. His humility makes him as dust/earth, which has gravitational pull. The word Mishkan is from the root moshekh, pulling, i.e. gravitational pull. Everyone eventually comes to the true Sadiqim, unless there is a counter-force (like if you throw a ball up into the air, it will return to the earth unless a hand grabs it and prevents it). That counter-force today is all of the Rabbis and leaders who don't point you to Rashbi, Arizal, Besht, and Rabenu Nahman. They want their own kavod instead of being branches of the true Tzadikim.

If you are still unsure, do this and you will not fail: plead to HaShem for the truth and nothing but the truth. Beg him to show you, if you really want it. And do your part by learning Torah for its sake, without bias or ulterior motives.

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